Mumbai, full of dreamers and hard-labourers, starlets and gangsters, stray dogs and exotic birds, artists and servants, fisherfolk and crorepatis (millionaires), and lots and lots of people. It has India’s most prolific film industry, and the largest tropical forest in an urban zone. Mumbai is India’s financial powerhouse, fashion epicentre and a pulse point of religious tension.
The heart of the city contains some of the grandest colonial-era architecture on the planet but explore a little more and you’ll uncover unique bazaars, hidden temples, hipster enclaves and India’s premier restaurants and nightlife.
- Mumbai Bicycle Tour – Experience Mumbai in the early morning by the seat of your bike, before the crowds fill the streets.
- Mumbai Street Food Tour – Mumbai (Bombay) is a city best experienced through its diverse and delicious street food.
- National Centre for the Performing Arts – This vast cultural centre is the hub of Mumbai’s high-brow music, theatre and dance scene.
- Wankhede Stadium – Test matches and one-day internationals are played a few times a year here in season (October to April).
- Cooperage Football Ground – Home to FC Air India and ONGC FC, this ground hosts local football (soccer) matches between September and April, as well as the Rovers Cup in July/August. Many local matches are free.
Delhi is a city where time travel is feasible. Step aboard your time machine (the sleek and efficient metro) and you can go from Old Delhi, where labourers haul sacks of spices and jewellers weigh gold on dusty scales, to modern New Delhi, with its colonial-era parliament buildings and penchant for high tea. Then on to the future: Gurgaon, a satellite city of skyscraping offices and glitzy malls.
This pulsating metropolis has a bigger population than Australia, and is one of the world’s most polluted cities. But woven into its rich fabric are moments of pure beauty: an elderly man threading temple marigolds; Sufi devotional songs; a boy flying a kite from a rooftop. So don’t be put off. Delhi is a city that has been repeatedly ravaged and reborn, with vestiges of lost empires in almost every neighbourhood. There’s so much to experience here, it’s like a country in itself.
New Delhi, the Capital of India, blends the ancient, modern and future of India harmoniously together like no other. A thriving, cosmopolitan metro, the city has already been the Indian Capital for more than the past 100 years. In fact, armed with an illustrious history that spans across centuries Delhi never fails to amuse a traveller with its many carefully-preserved monuments, ancient forts and tombs.
- Convention Centres : Pragati Maidan Exhibition Complex, The Indian Habitat Centre, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to name a few.
- When visiting India’s historic capital, it’s worth paying out for big-hitting sights such as the Red Fort and Qutb Minar, but don’t overlook the abundant free sights and experiences in this fascinating city.
- Other hotels that serve the purpose of in-house MICE facilities are The Taj Palace, Hotel Le Meridian, Hyatt Residency, etc.
- See India through international eyes. A string of foreign nations have established cultural centres in Delhi, offering a profusion of cultural experiences, from art shows to classical concerts and seminars on history, gastronomy and cultural traditions from around India and the world. The American Center on Kasturba Gandhi Marg, the Japan Foundation at Lajpat Nagar, and the Alliance Francaise at KK Birla Marg are good places to start.
Goa, a gem for a party holiday, lies on the Western Ghats in the Konkan Region. Blessed with abundant of natural beauty and archaic churches and impressive colonial architecture, the state is also known as the “Pearl of Orient” and “tourist paradise”. Its vivacious nightlife and breath-taking beaches attract tourists in large numbers from India as well as from around the world. So come to Goa, where calm beaches, serene islands, and noisy parties await.
- Pristine beaches, scenic blue ocean, sylvan forests, palm-swathed hills,
- Mesmerizing islands, beautiful rivers and Indo-Portuguese architecture make Goa a beguiling MICE destination.
- The city-state is top-ranked for business conferences and meetings.
- International Center, located on 14 Acres of land on Taleigao Plateau at Dona Paula, is an ideal venue for conferences and exhibitions.
- Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, Taj Exotica, The Leela also provide world-class facilities for corporate events.
Steeped in history, thronged with people and buzzing with commerce, the Old City of Hyderabad is one of India’s most evocative ancient quarters. Exploring the lanes of this district, with its chai shops and spice merchants, you’ll encounter a teeming urban masala of colour and commerce. Looming over the Old City is some of Islamic India’s most impressive architecture, in varying states of repair. Most visitors concentrate their time in this area, though the magnificent Golconda Fort should not be missed either.
Hyderabad’s other pole is far younger and west of the centre – its Hi-Tech City, or ‘Cyberabad’, and other districts like Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills – are replete with glittery malls, multiplexes, clubs, pubs and sleek restaurants.
- Pearl City of India, also known as Istanbul of India is an essential part of Islamic Culture in the country.
- Finest epitomes of Qutab-Shahi architecture like Charminar, Jama Masjid, and Mecca Masjid etc.
- The Shilpkala-Vedica, a multipurpose convention centre-cum-auditorium is country’s second biggest convention centre.
- The Viceroy Hotel and Convention Centre overlooking the picturesque Hussain Sagar Lake are some of the important MICE venues in Hyderabad.
- Hyderabad International Trade Expositions Limited having uber-modern facilities to host international events.
If you have time to explore Chennai this 400-sq-km conglomerate of urban villages and diverse neighbourhoods making up Tamil Nadu’s capital will pleasantly surprise you. Its role is as keeper of South Indian artistic, religious and culinary traditions.
Among Chennai’s greatest assets are its people, infectiously enthusiastic about their hometown; they won’t hit you with a lot of hustle and hassle. Recent years have thrown in a new layer of cosmopolitan glamour: luxe hotels, sparkling boutiques, quirky cafes, smart contemporary restaurants and a sprinkling of swanky bars and clubs.
But even if you’re just caught here between connections, it’s well worth poking around the museums, exploring the temples, savouring deliciously authentic South Indian delicacies or taking a sunset saunter along Marina Beach.
- Private Cultural Tour: Day Trip to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai.
- Peacock Trail Walking Tour in Mylapore.
- Private Tour: Chennai Sightseeing Including Fort St George and Government Museum.
- Bazaar Trail Walking Tour in George Town.
Cosmopolitan Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) is one of India’s most progressive and developed cities, blessed with a benevolent climate and a burgeoning drinking, dining and shopping scene. Yes, its creature comforts are a godsend to the weary traveller who has done the hard yards and it’s a great city for mixing with locals in craft beer joints or quirky independent cafes. Though there are no world-class sights, you’ll find lovely parks and striking Victorian-era architecture.
The past decade has seen a mad surge of development, coupled with traffic congestion and rising pollution levels. But the central district (dating back to the British Raj years) remains little changed, and the landmark corporate HQs and business parks of the city’s booming IT Industry are mostly in the outer suburbs.
- National Gallery of Modern Art.
- HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Centre.
- Ranga Shankara – All kinds of interesting theatre (in a variety of languages and spanning various genres) and dance are held at this cultural centre.
- M Chinnaswamy Stadium – A mecca for cricket lovers, hosting many matches per year. Check online for upcoming schedule of Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20s.
- Bangalore Turf Club.
- Horse racing is big in Bengaluru and can make for a fun day out. Races are generally held on Friday and Saturday afternoons.